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7:17 AM on 05.01.2010

L4D2 - Bleed out reviewed

So yesterday night I tried out the new Mutation in L4D2, called Bleed Out.

It's basically normal campaign mode, but your health is (not so) slowly dripping away while you're moving forward. There are no health kits, only Pills and Adrenaline to keep you going.
What this does of course, is making the game harder and waaayy more stressful.

I played through the Parish on advanced difficulty with a bunch of random guys, and I have to say: it was really a lot of fun.

We had to restart a lot of times, but when we got through it was incredibly satisfying. I've screaming like a mad man, when we had to get through the little Bar with the juke-box and suddenly there was a Tank standing around the corner and we had all bled down to <20 health. To beat him we had to revive each other several times, which will happen way more often in this mode, than in a normal playthrough.

What this does is really bonding you together more closely, because you know you will have to trust your teammates to survive long enough to get you back up.

Something that was really strange was the last part, on the Bridge: there were hardly any Zombies. Just a Tank in the middle-part, but apart from him we just encountered like 10 Zombies total, until we got to the last Wave that got triggered when we reached the chopper. I don't know why, maybe the AI-director is reluctant to throw the masses on you, when the whole group is already close to dead, although that didn't stop him in the previous levels.

So yeah, I really like this mode and am really enjoying the whole Mutations-System thus far.
Have similar or different experiences? Wanna play?

P.S: Chainsawing a witch, when you know she could wipe out all of your group in a few strikes is really satisfying.   read

6:04 AM on 07.31.2009

Open Source and the future of games? (!) ?

This is basically my answer to Revs latest Rant:

He is absolutely right: There will always be Action-fun-shoot-you-inthefacemotherfucker-games, because they are fun and profitable, just like cheap crime-novels or action-movies are. So Fun IS going to be a part of gaming, no matter what kind of serious games are going to exist.

And I think we WILL see more creative games in the future. Games that really use the possibilities of an interactive medium, of an environment, that is capable of reacting to your actions and so on.

But I think this will simply take some time. Why?

Because it's mostly a question of the accessability of the development-tools. Today, it's still (as far as I know) really hard to design a game, especially if you want to reach a level of production values, that can appeal to a broader audience. So I think the next step really has to come from the people who develop the tools of development and make them more accessible. If that happens, we will have a massive explosion of creativity in gaming. I mean, just look at the modding-community and the shitload of really good shit coming out of it.

What we need, is a really accessible development-surrounding and a really well supported open source library for textures, 3D-models, AI-Scripts and so on. Think about it, if all the big-shots would add their code like 2 or 3 years after they put out a new game and in return were allowed to use the library for commercial titles too, everybody could profit from it, because you wouldn't have to program the AK-47, or a car, or a tree from scratch. Of course (as with open source music-libraries) a lot of shit, would be made, but I think this kind of open libraries, with the possibility for commercial use, could be really good for gaming. (after all some of the pharma big-shots are using this model in genetic research, because they know they can make more money like this.)

Any thoughts? Does this actually already exist and Mario actually is a douche?   read

6:42 PM on 06.18.2009

Untapped Potential: Chaos Theory

Disclaimer: I'm not a native speaker, so there may be some (or more) mistakes. Sorry for that.

What do I mean by "chaos theory"? And how do I think it is related to games?

Very simple answer, but as I think, probably one of the biggest wastes in the potential of video games:
I would really love to see games, that use the power of the machines we're sitting on these days. Not only in graphics, physics, sound and so on, but in the field of simulating.

In a lot of scientific fields today, they use agent-based programs, to see how certain populations behave, whether it's people reacting to economic change, or ecosystems reacting to any kind of envorimental change. The reason is that this is the best way we have today, to examine the impact of (small) changes to complex systems.

In my imagination, this could be an incredible opportunity for games. To have enviroments that actually react to the way you behave. Worlds, where your actions would have impact and not in the overly simplyfied way, that provides you with moral dilemmas, where you can be good or bad, but in a realistic way. With realistic I mean, that your actions do NOT only have the consequences you think, but - like the old butterfly and tornado metaphor - have impacts that you can not foresee.

Allright, so far so abstract.

So what kind of Game could this be? Well, I'm really not very big on technological or programming knowledge, but I think, that this kind of operation is still very demanding on processing capacity, so it probably would be asking to much, to have it implemented on a GTA-scale world.

I think it would be really cool, to have a world that behaves like that combined with limited savegames, which you could use like portaly between two worlds, that develop in different directions, depending on your actions and the actions that are provoced by those actions, but you only could have like one or two of those.

And now someone would have to come up with an actual scenario apart from that mechanic, so it could actually be a game...

The idea felt good in the beginning... kinda got stuck.

Fuck it. I post it anyway, because I still think the basic ideas are cool. Maybe somebody agrees.

hm.   read

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